Free Counseling For Employees..Huh?

How do you know that your co-worker, staff, or supervisor is having a difficult time in their personal life? You can see it in their job performance. You might noticed that one particular co-worker who arrives at work friendly, and cheerful in the past but now he/she is quiet, and withdrawn. As a supervisor, you might notice one of your staff showing up late to work and looking disheveled multiple times. Did you notice your co worker who arrived to work with an alcohol odor in their breath. These are some of the examples of how personal problems can affect work performance.

Let’s face it, people have problems. Domestic violence, alcoholism, caring for an aging parent, marital problems, death in the family is very common. Employees are not comfortable in discussing their issues with their employers and do not know where they can turn to for help. Let me remind you that you might have Employee Assistance Program (EAP) as part of your benefits.

EAP is a service where employees can receive counseling and community resources with no financial charge. The services is free and confidential for employees (your employer will not know either). Many employees receive EAP benefits through their health insurance however, some employers use EAP services through an independent company. Once you sign up for EAP services, you will receive any where between 2-6 sessions of counseling sessions depending your problem. Here are the steps to obtain EAP counseling:

  1. Call the EAP number provided by your employer.
  2. Explain to the representative the reason you are requesting services.
  3. You will receive a list of therapists near your area to contact and make an appointment.
  4. After you select a therapist and make an appointment you can inform EAP the therapist that you select.
  5. That’s it! Seriously that’s is all!

Some people will continue to see their therapist after they exhaust their EAP sessions for  additional support. It’s very important to inform EAP the concerns that you are experiencing since there are therapists who have different specialties (i.e substance abuse, depression, trauma, grief counseling, etc).

Receiving counseling is a great way to handle your personal problems. You don’t want to face the consequences of poor job performance (i.e. suspension, termination, write ups, demotion, etc). Just for the record, I provide EAP services under Blue Cross Blue Shield, and Cigna insurances.